Best Local Artist (1999)

José Bedia

Since his arrival in Miami in 1992, widely celebrated Cuban painter José Bedia has acted both globally and locally, showing extensively around the world while remaining active at home. Bedia's magic-realist paintings and installations display remarkable technical proficiency and an astute empathy for the human condition. His suggestive works featuring humanlike animal figures are inspired by Afro-Cuban religion and Native American rituals, as well as universal themes such as emigration, alienation, and exile. Over the past decade, Bedia has been sanctified by international curators as a leading artist of the multicultural age. In Miami his work has been exhibited at just about every local museum, and he has maintained annual shows at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery. He has also participated in public art projects (a Miami Beach shuttle bus; designs for the forthcoming performing arts center) and given frequent talks about his work. Bedia is the most successful of the wave of Cuban artists who came to Miami in the early Nineties. By building his own career, he has boosted Miami's reputation as a cultural city.


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